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US-led airstrikes in Syria kill 10 civilians: rights group

[JURIST] US-led airstrikes carried out on Friday against the Islamic State (IS) [JURIST news archive] in Syria killed 10 civilians, it was reported by an observing group on Saturday. Washington responded, stating that there is no evidence to back up the report. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights [advocacy website] stated [report] that seven civilians were killed by airstrikes on a gas station in the Der-Ezzor province on Friday, and three civilians, including a child, were killed by airstrikes targeting oil fields in the countryside of al-Shadadi south of al-Hasakah. US Central Command spokesman Colonel Patrick Ryder commented [Reuters report] that there was no evidence to corroborate the group's claims.

The US, with the support of Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, led the airstrikes beginning in Iraq in August and Syria in September. They did so without first seeking permission from the UN Security Council or the Syrian government. Last month the US government insisted [JURIST report] in a letter to the UN that the American-led airstrikes in Syria against IS were legally justified because actions were taken in defense of Iraq. Also last month the UN General Assembly met to discuss "the responsibility to protect" adopted by world leaders in 2005, with UN officials stressing the urgency of this responsibility as crises rage around the world. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the assembly, and stressed the events unfolding in Iraq and Syria as a top priority. In August the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic announced [JURIST report] key findings from the latest report on the status of the warring parities in Syria, which has resulted in widespread crimes against humanity and potential violations of international law.

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